Rime Indie Game Review – First Sip
Developed by Tequila Works and QLOC. Published by Grey Box and Six Foot. Rime is a puzzle platformer, set on a beautiful and mysterious island.
Simply put, the story of Rime cannot be shared without major spoilers. But what I can share, is that the game opens on a mysterious island. A young boy begins to explore the island. Finding ruins and remnants of the past. From here you will delve into an understated and emotional journey. Similar in tone to games like ABZU and Journey. Although the narrative does begin to pick up at the end. And the final revelation will change the context of much of the previous content.
How to describe the graphics of Rime? Stunning, beautiful, gorgeous. All of these are fitting terms. Taking the bright and fantastical worlds of games like ABZU and Journey. But making them more realistic. However not to the point of actual realism. The world of Rime retains a cartoon like quality especially with the eye catching color contrasts of the sky, ocean, beach, grass etc.
The design of the main character fits the style of the rest of the game as well. With his dark shaggy hair. Eye catching white and red outfit. And slight frame. The boy feels at home in the world of Rime. Much like the design of Link in the Legend of Zelda series, and how he feels like the epitome of the courageous hero in the lands of Hyrule.
Another aspect of the game that they absolutely nailed. The music in Rime is beautiful, haunting, mysterious, epic. Evoking all sorts of emotion, especially when paired with the visuals and the story. But the soundtrack absolutely stands on its own as well. Feeling like a lush orchestral arrangement that wouldn’t be out of place in a Studio Ghibli film. The music really elevates the emotional aspects of Rime to a higher level. Almost in the same way that the relative silence works for the game Limbo. Despite the fact they share little in common, both games use the music or lack thereof for the betterment of the game feel.
Using a variety of instruments and conveying different feels. There are a lot of underlying folk themes inside the music. That again tie in well with the setting of the game. Seeing the magnificent vistas and epic ruins with the music to match it is an incredible feeling, that the developers have managed to catch perfectly.
The sound effects in Rime are also quite nice. Nothing really sticks out as being particularly bad. You have the atmospheric sounds of the wind and the waves. The boy is able to call out with a button press, which is used for some puzzles. But also adds to the ambient nature of the game. And the feeling of being a little voice in a larger world just shouting to be heard.
As a puzzle platformer, Rime is focused on moving from area to area. Solving puzzles to open new paths. As the game progresses you gain more skills, and will find new mechanics to interact with and solve the puzzles. Rime contains a lot of sections in which you will need to run, jump and climb which represent the platformer aspects. And various puzzles that can be solved by, picking up items, using the boy’s shouting to activate objects, positioning objects to create new doors. And many more.
Other than the puzzle and platforming aspects. Another aspect of Rime is collecting. Throughout the world of Rime, you will find many objects that can be collected, from toys, keyholes and lullabies, to costumes and emblems. Most of these collectables you will have to go a little out of your way to collect. Which leads to the final component of Rime, exploration. In Rime, a lot of the game will be spent exploring, both to find the collectables and just to see more of the ruins and the islands.
Rime is best described as an experience more than a challenge. While it does contain various puzzles to solve. None of the puzzles are particularly challenging. Mostly there is a new mechanic that you need to learn and then the puzzle can be solved. But again, the game isn’t really about the puzzles. Nor is it about collecting everything. The purpose of Rime is the experience. Exploring the vast and beautiful landscapes. Spending as much or as little time as you desire just drinking in the views and sounds. And letting the story unfold in front of you.
In Coffee Terms
Rime is less like a coffee and more like a hot chocolate. But not just a hot chocolate. A hot chocolate when it’s cold outside. You can hear the wind rustling the leaves. The sound of rain falling on the rooftop. And you’re inside, snuggled up, warm. With a delicious hot chocolate that makes you even warmer and more comfortable.
Because it’s not really just a drink. It’s the entire setting that informs the experience. The cold and warmth in juxtaposition, the feelings that come as you listen to the sounds. As you look out into the cold unforgiving nature of the world. And you think to yourself how lucky you are to be inside. And you drift off to sleep as the last drops of your chocolate drip away. You realise that there is beauty in this world that exists beyond one sense. The culmination of them all is what truly matters. Sight, sound, feel, taste and smell, life itself.
One half of the YouTube brother duo, The Game Bros with Sirhc and Ar0n, Chris is a lover of games, movies and other great things you can do from home.
Coffee of choice: I like the sweeter kinds, mixed with chocolate, coconut, caramel etc. but I won’t turn down a flat white or a straight black either.